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Social Media Plays A Bigger Role In Crises Of Tomorrow

SINGAPORE, 14 April 2011 – The formula of reacting to a crisis in a certain manner to ensure minimal damage does not work anymore. No longer can textbooks and other manuals claim to separate crises into different groups according to their nature and present a general solution to solve them all. The emergence of social media has added a new dimension to the field and communication practitioners not only have to start monitoring online for hints of crisis, they have to respond and manage a crisis through new media, sometimes making it the most important channel to reach stakeholders.

These are challenges that communications practitioners in every organisation face, and are involved in this transformation, whether they like it or not. To complicate matters, consumers nowadays are increasingly discerning and every action an organisation take can possibly spell disaster for them if they take a wrong step. To earn the loyalty of consumers, organisations must now engage them on a new level so as to build a reputation store in times of crisis.

Charlie Pownall, Lead Digital Strategist at Burson-Marsteller Asia-Pacific says: “The Internet and social media are profoundly changing the nature and dynamics of issues and crisis management, to the extent that many organisations feel they are no longer in control of their reputations. While it is a myth that companies could ever control their reputations, it is certainly becoming harder to shape perception and behaviour. To minimize risk, organisations must act transparently, be sincere in their actions and engage directly with their audiences”.

To ensure successful engagement, communications practitioners must arm themselves with well-conceived communication strategies. The crisis communications strategy of today must integrate both traditional and new media channels to properly avert a disaster. This ensures that the different channels complement one another.

Neena Moorjani, Director of Media & Public Relations of Pfizer says: “Social media may be a new force to be reckoned with but for most of us in Asia traditional media will continue to dominate the scene for many years to come. Sound and proactive media engagement with newspapers, magazines and TV remain crucial for companies to protect their reputation and advocate positions that advance their businesses. However, the hype around social media has reinforced in the minds of many that the media world in general is a force that must not be ignored in this day and age.”

It is also important to have the mindset that while crises seem threatening, they present opportunities for organisations. A company which responds and communicates in a successful manner earns more supporters and these loyalists can help a company tide through tough times. Companies can also establish themselves as caring organisations to build up their corporate reputation.

To address these emerging issues, a 1-day workshop and a 1-day conference on “Crisis Management & Social Media” will be held on 9 – 10 May in Singapore and 12 – 13 May in Hong Kong, during which attendees can gain insights and hear from real-world practitioners how the new dynamics of crisis have affected them, how to stay prepared in this social media age and how to respond effectively to your stakeholders in times of crisis. Attendees can also gain an understanding of the critical channels to leverage on and engage the brand influencers who matter during difficult times. It aims to provide insights into how communications practitioners can equip themselves with the skills to push the stance of their organisation to a new level and handle a crisis by enlisting the help of social media effectively.

This year’s conference sets in insights from B2B companies like BASF, Deloitte and global B2C brands like Pfizer, SMRT and more. Experts sharing include Neena Moorjani, Director of Media & Public Relations in Pfizer, Genevieve Hilton, Regional Head of External Communiations in BASF, Goh Chee Kong, Vice President of Corporate Marketing & Communications in SMRT and Jane Kneebone, Director of Coprorate Affairs and Communications in Deloitte.

Conference Details:

Title: Crisis Management & Social Media

Date & Venue:

9 – 10 May 2011, Sheraton Towers, Singapore

12 – 13 May 2011, Regal HongKong Hotel, Hong Kong

Organiser : Pacific Conferences

Contact Person : Ms Leah Katigbak

Tel : (65) 6372 2216

Email: leah@conferences.com.sg

Attachment: Full Programme

Full programme can also be found at: http://www.conferences.com.sg/S1380-Crisis6-01J-U.pdf

About Pacific Conferences

Pacific Conferences (www.conferences.com.sg) specialises in organising business conferences aimed at providing interactive, insightful information and analysis about issues facing businesses in Asia-Pacific. Catered to middle and upper level executives, its events are usually case studies driven with emphasis on providing in-depth and unbiased practical knowledge.


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